Actionable advice for new freelancers

If you are thinking about starting a career in freelancing, and you are looking for actionable advice so that you achieve success without wasting a lot of time, this post is for you.

For me, freelancing is really a great and sustainable way to earn money online and to learn new things on the go. I feel like I am being paid for learning, for increasing my knowledge and experience. Not only this profession is good for me because I am earning from it, but also because it gives me the freedom to move from one place to another without disturbing my work and relationships with my clients.

Being a freelancer you are establishing a business

The first thing you need to understand is that by choosing to freelance you are choosing to do a business. Therefore, you need to have a business mindset. Because you are in full control of your actions, like which type of job you want to do. At what time you are going to do it, and for how long! On the contrary, in a job, you don’t have control over the timing and place.

Join Upwrok Facebook Community

For learning more about becoming a success on Upwork or any other platform, I will encourage you to join Upwork’s Facebook community. There you will find many freelancers who are either posting questions or are answering them. So being there you will get a lot of confusions removed, and will become a better freelancer in a short time.

Be immune to rejections

As a new entrant in freelancing you are bound to face a lot of rejections. So have an open mind about it, and don’t take them personally.

There are two reasons: the first one is that you will have no experience, hence the clients will feel hesitant in giving you a contract. The second reason is that you won’t have experience of how to apply for jobs, write a persuasive proposal, give an impressive interview.

Don’t worry, with time and persistence you will learn how to get new jobs to build an awesome portfolio, and to write persuasive proposals so that your client can’t help picking you up.

So you don’t have to give up in the face of rejection.

All you have to do is to keep applying for jobs that are best fit for you.

Do experiments when writing a proposal, see which type of tone works for you.

For one job, go very professional. If you aren’t hired, then for the next job, be frank and adopt a more interpersonal tone. Once hired, see which type of proposal worked for you.

So, yes, it’s the trial and error type of thing when it comes to master the art of applying for jobs and averting rejections.

Keep learning new skills till you don’t get a contract

You don’t have to give up, as I just said. But along with keep applying, also try to cash this free time.

Learn some new skill after self-analyzing which type of a person you are. Like, if you are someone interested in web-designing, take a course at Udemy. If you want to become an expert content-writer, practice at home and if you can afford, take an online course.

In short, just make your profile heavy and impressive by learning new things. The more you will know, the more chances of getting hired.

Once you learn new skill, give its test and update your Upwork Profile

Well done. You weren’t hired but you didn’t waste your time. You learned something which will remain with you for the lifetime, great. Now, go to Upwork Tests section, and complete the test.

Your appearing in tests make a lot of difference and leaves a good impression on a potential client no matter you haven’t ever got a job before. You know I wasn’t hired till I gave 10 Upwork tests.

Be happy, keep learning and the time will come when you will be hired. First thing is to focus on the skill set you have and to have them on your Upwork profile

Another tip about your profile is that you should have a professional looking picture on it. Even better, if you can have an introductory video, in which you introduce yourself and tell what exactly you know and how can you help your clients achieve their goals.

Also, make sure that there is no grammatical or spelling mistake in your profile description. For minimizing such occurrence, you can install Grammarly extension in your browser.

You come first so take a good care of your health

This is very important. Take care of your health no matter whether you have got a job or not. Maintain a good work-life balance. Eat healthily, do exercise, have a good sleep. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your family and friends.

It happens that, when you are just starting your freelancing career and you get a job after so many proposals, you tend to work more hours and charge less to keep your client happy.

Well, just don’t do that. Choose a job that doesn’t compel you to work more than 5 hours a day. As this much time is more than enough to make a living and doing productive work.

Think twice before agreeing with a client. First, see what type of job requirement is and whether you are able to do it. If so, how much time will it take?.

Agreeing for jobs that you can’t do (either because of lack of skills or time) will ruin your career because the client will give you bad ratings. Once you have got bad ratings or comments on your profile, it will make almost impossible for you to grab more jobs.

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Author: Waqar Ahmed

Waqar Ahmed is a professional freelancer since last five years, primarily working at Upwork. He writes about motivation, technology, personal growth, and about everything that he learns time to time. When he's free, he reads books, watches documentaries on YouTube or learning something new at Udemy!

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